The selection Friday of Yale professor Elizabeth Alexander as the first winner of the Jackson Poetry Prize reinforces the point made below that American prizes for poetry are a lot bigger than those for prose. The Jackson prize, given by Poets & Writers Inc., is $50,000. The Bollingen Prize, awarded recently to Frank Bidart, is $100,000. The largest prose award is the PEN/Faulkner, which is $15,000.
Perhaps it's fitting, though -- poets sell on the whole so many fewer books than prose authors, that they're more likely to need the money.